Right now, my muddled brain functions on only three hours of sleep. I have roof rats to blame for this late-to-bed and early-to-rise schedule. Yesterday morning, one of my husband’s live traps captured a youth, which he released into our park. Before our exterminator arrived yesterday, my son and I decided to investigate each room in our house. We followed a trail of dropped dogfood into one spare room. Its black floors hid the fact that at least one critter had supped in the room on several occasions. We found the three other bedrooms and bathrooms totally free of rat sign, but in previous days I’d cleaned signs of visitation in the family room, living room, drum room, and laundry.
My son shifted an étagère and found foliage from one of our plants stuffed under it. A rustling drew his attention to a large basket filled with silk ferns—and a roof rat! Their scuffle resulted in the rat darting and dashing between the piano and the wall and escaping into the kitchen where she dove under the dishwasher.
Around this time, the exterminator arrived. He hustled and bustled around the house, placing a variety of traps in the different spots we pointed out to him. He also set two large poison traps outside. As he placed one by the pond, he spotted the female, so we know that this family has their custom entrance to our home. He suggested to my husband that we continue with our live traps, and David left immediately to buy supplies to build bigger traps.
When David returned, I convinced him that we needed to move around the living room to clean and disinfect every surface. He went to bed around 11:00, but I stayed on task well after midnight. Then my son and I plotted our strategy for today’s battle. I will continue wiping down with Clorox wipes every item the varmints could have possibly contacted. For this morning, I’ll concentrate on the Roland drum kit and maybe summon energy to dive into the laundry room. When my son’s available, he’ll help empty out the spare bedroom. We’ll clean, disinfect and reorganize as we go.
Because the rats have forced us into this cleaning frenzy, we will also retile the room before reassembling it. More long days and late nights ahead.
Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman